‘From the minute I sold Wes Morgan I knew there was something I could do,’ he said in the wake of Tuesday night's results which guaranteed safety at the City Ground.
Having made it clear that he felt the squad he had inherited was lop-sided and lacking in defensive options, the manager took his chance to do something about the imbalance with a trio of signings in the wake of Morgan's move.
Scott Wooton, Danny Higginbotham and Adlene Guedioura all arrived in the final 2 days of the transfer window to join Greg Cunningham at the City Ground, with George Elokobi following 10 days into February.
The first game that Cotterill was able to field the majority of his loan signings in was the 1-1 draw with Watford on February 11th and in the 15 games that have followed Forest have conceded just 14 goals.
The manager knows that the problem will resurface sooner rather than later, even if he can do deals for the likes of Higginbotham to return, but for now Cotterill can look back on an achievement that seemed very unlikely when the Reds were humiliated by Leicester City in their live televised FA Cup replay in January, just days after Southampton had cruised to victory at the City Ground.